From two Coreys to none? It’s a possibility. As players and teams work fervently to complete deals before the collective bargaining agreement expires on Wednesday night, another Dodger finds his name linked to a different team.
Free agent reliever Corey Knebel is reportedly being heavily pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was among those to report.
Phillies expressing serious interest in free-agent reliever Corey Knebel, sources tell me and @Jaysonst.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2021
And the two sides are apparently making progress, according to NBC’s Jim Salisbury.
The Dodgers acquired Knebel from the Milwaukee Brewers just under a year ago and, when healthy, he was an important piece of Dave Roberts’ bullpen in 2021. However, that health was certainly an issue as the right-hander missed nearly four months while dealing with a lat issue.
By the time October rolled around, the Dodgers leaned on Knebel in the postseason, opting to use him as an opener twice over his seven outings. In 27 appearances in the regular season, he posted a 2.45 ERA with 3 saves.
The Texas native just turned 30 on Friday and is said to be seeking a multi-year deal this offseason. Considering the Phillies had one of the worst bullpens in baseball last season (sixth-worst reliever ERA in MLB), the connection to Knebel makes sense. And, after the Dodgers reportedly signed free agent right-hander Dan Hudson to a deal on Monday, the door to a return to LA may have closed. At least a fair bit.
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